Day Trips: Toilet Seat Museum

Toilet seat art collection relocates to The Colony


Photos by Gerald E. McLeod

Barney Smith's Toilet Seat Museum has moved from his one-car garage in San Antonio to a new cathedral of flush in The Colony north of Dallas. 

A week after his 98th birthday, Barney cut the ribbon on the new museum at the Truck Yard, a biergarten and restaurant opening this summer. 


Jason and Amanda Boso paid about $18 a piece for Barney's collection of more than 1,400 artistically altered toilet seats. Their hope is that the unusual art collection – as well as 28 vintage cars sticking vertically out of the ground, Bob Wills' tour bus, live music, and a brewery – will make this a must-visit roadside attraction. 

A retired master plumber and artist, Barney started his potty-lid art project by mounting deer antlers on a throne cover as a joke. The collection exploded after he acquired a stack of defective toilet seats for free. Before she passed away, Barney gave his wife a custom-painted seat on their wedding anniversaries.


Over nearly 30 years of being king of the commode covers, Barney decorated most of the seats in the collection, but some were given to him. One of his favorites is the toilet seat from an airplane that Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis might have sat on.

It's all in good, clean fun. At the opening of the new museum, Barney said, "At my age, I'm just glad Jason is keeping a part of me alive. Ain't it great?"


Barney Smith's Toilet Seat Museum and the Truck Yard are at 5959 Grove Lane in The Colony. Jason says he hopes to open by the end of July. There are also Truck Yard locations in Dallas and Houston – but there's only one Toilet Seat Museum.


1,458th in a series. Follow “Day Trips & Beyond,” a travel blog, at austinchronicle.com/daily/travel.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Day Trips
Day Trips: Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge
Day Trips: Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge
Old growth forest survives on the Rio Grande

Gerald E. McLeod, July 19, 2019

Day Trips: Texas Prison Museum
Day Trips: Texas Prison Museum
Slammer school in Huntsville

Gerald E. McLeod, July 5, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Barney Smith's Toilet Seat Museum, The Colony, Jason Boso, Amanda Boso, Bob Wills, Truck Yard

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle